World Bank approves 176-million-USD fisheries project in Philippines hinh anh 1Illustrative image. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The World Bank (WB) on May 31 approved a 176-million-USD loan to fund a fisheries project that aims to improve fisheries management, enhance the value of fisheries production, and raise incomes for coastal communities in the Philippines.

The project is expected to benefit more than 1.5 million fisherfolk, small-to-medium businesses, and residents in coastal communities, the multilateral lender said in a statement.

According to the WB, the fisheries sector contributes 1.3% to the Southeast Asian country's gross domestic product. It provides approximately 1.6 million jobs, or around 4% of the labour force, including for low-income families engaged in subsistence fishing.

However, the sector has faced challenges, with fish stocks declining by an average of 20% over the past decade due to over-exploitation, destructive fishing methods, habitat degradation, and negative impacts from land-based activities.

This project aligns with the country's commitment to environmentally sound practices in fishing and aquaculture while ensuring improved incomes for those involved in the sector, said Ndiame Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

The long-term goal is to foster enhanced community resilience in these coastal regions, which will be reflected in thriving fish stocks, improved food security, reduced poverty and heightened competitiveness in key seafood commodities, he added./.